In the off-grid living community, the Berkey line of gravity-fed water filters is legendary.
Its iconic stainless steel design has been a fixture of homesteads, off-grid cabins, tiny homes, and world travelers for decades.
In recent years, though, a challenger has arisen to put Berkey on notice that there’s a new filter in town.
The Alexapure Pro Water Filter.
Due to popular request from our readers, I’ve decided to put these filters in a head-to-head comparison if Berkey is still king of off-grid water filtration or if the young upstart, Alexapure, has managed to dethrone it.
For those who want a quick overview, below is our comparison table:
- Our #1 Pick: Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Countertop Water Filter(Best Overall Option)
- Our #2 Pick: Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System(Best Value For The Money)
Alexapure Vs Berkey Comparison – 5 Important Factors
Both Berkey and the Alexapure Pro are countertop style gravity-fed water filters. I looked specifically at 5 important factors that I look for when determining water filter quality: filter effectiveness, capacity/flow rate, cost of ownership, ease of maintenance, and reliability.
Filter Effectiveness – What Contaminants Do They Filter
Both the Black Berkey filters and Alexapure filters are certified to remove a vast array of chemical, bacterial, virological, heavy metal, and pharmaceutical contaminants. These include all the most common pathogenic threats such as e.coli, salmonella, etc, as well as petroleum products, arsenic, lead, and manganese.
What that means in simple terms is that you can make virtually any water source safe to drink by running it through either filter. If you’re on well water, are traveling in an RV or Tiny Home, or are uncertain about the quality and safety of your city water, either of these filters will provide you with a tested level of protection.
Independent laboratory tests have verified each set of results to meet NSF standards, though neither has applied for NSF certification.
Winner: Tie. Both filters offer some of the most comprehensive water filtration available to your individual consumer with independently verified filtration of 200+ contaminants.
Cost of Ownership – Which Is More Affordable?
This one was really, really close. Both the Alexapure Pro and Big Berkey are fairly close in price, with the Alexapure edging out the Berkey by a small margin.
The Alexapure Pro Filters are individually more expensive than the Black Berkey Filters, but they also last substantially longer. A pair of Black Berkey filters were a bit more expensive than a single Alexapure Pro filter and provided 6,000 gallons of use vs 5,000 for a single Alexapure Pro filter.
Winner: Alexapure, though only just barely. You’ll save a marginal amount of money in the long run on the Alexapure Pro with Alexapure Pro Filters than a Big Berkey with Black Berkey Filters.
Capacity and Flow Rate
Both the Alexapure Pro and the famous Big Berkey sized Berkey filter offer dual 2.25-gallon tanks for a total capacity of 4.5 gallons. The Big Berkey with the full four Black Berkey filter elements provides a 7 gallons per hour flow rate compared to Alexapure Pro’s 9.2 gallons (with the maximum number of filters).
It gets tricky because each Alexapure Pro filter is almost twice the cost of a similar Black Berkey filter, creating a lower flow rate per dollar spent. There’s also the fact that several of the larger Berkey filters such as the Imperial Berkey or Crown Berkey offer both higher capacities and significantly faster flow rates. If you’re interested in reading more about the different Big Berkey water filter products, read our Comprehensive Big Berkey Water Filter Review here.
Winner: Berkey. The Big Berkey is the most popular size by far, but the range of larger Berkey products give you the option to outperform the Alexapure Pro substantially in flow rate and total capacity.
Ease of Maintenance
The Alexapure Pro and Big Berkey are both stainless steel gravity-fed water filters. They have nearly identical nesting stainless steel reservoirs with small spigots to allow water to pour out.
Cleaning and maintenance on either is as easy as removing the filters and scrubbing out the inside of the reservoirs with soapy water. You can even put them in the dishwasher if you so desire.
The only other maintenance is priming, scouring, and replacing filters. Both systems use roughly comparable carbon block filters with very similar maintenance procedures.
Winner: Tie. Given the marked similarities in the design of both the Alexapure Pro and the Berkey filters, cleaning and maintenance are virtually identical.
Reliability – Filter Lifespan & Wear and Tear
Both the Alexapure Pro and Berkey filters have nesting stainless steel bodies, removable filter elements, and very few parts that can wear out. The filters themselves can filter a lot of water before a replacement is necessary and so long as you prevent rust the body basically won’t wear out.
That said, they aren’t equal here. Berkey water filters have been available for decades, and people have been using them every day of those decades without problems.
Winner: Berkey. While the Alexapure Pro is a fine water filter made from quality materials, it just can’t match the decades-long track record of excellent service and reliability that Berkey has
So without further ado, the winner is… **drum roll**… The Berkey!
But just barely. Whatever choice you make, you will be satisfied.
I outlined some key features of each option below to make it easy to see each of their strengths.
Our #1 Pick: Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Countertop Water Filter(Best Overall Option)
- Our Top Choice
- Filters out 99.99 of potentially lethal viruses and pathogenic bacteria
- Certified to remove more than 200 known contaminants such as heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals
- EPA Certified for peace of mind
- Simple design makes it incredibly easy to clean and maintain
- Nesting tank design allows you to pack it up for more compact storage
- Burnished stainless steel body allows it to fit in well with most settings
- Water capacity: 2.25 gallons in each tank
Our #2 Pick: Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System(Best Value For The Money)
- Slightly More Affordable Option
- Reduces up to 99.99% of 200+ different chemical, pathogenic, and pharmaceutical contaminants
- Nesting design makes it easy to disassemble for cleaning and storage
- Large 2.25-gallon tank capacity
- Filter offers extended lifespan even with daily use
- Filters can filter 5,000 gallons before requiring replacement
- With the purchase of the Super Flow Kit you can filter up to 20,000 gallons before filter replacements, and at a much faster rate
Why Use a Countertop Gravity-Fed Water Filter?
Gravity-fed countertop water filters, like the Alexapure Pro or Berkey filters, produce safe drinking water in large quantities from impure sources. They’re big enough to hold several gallons of water and offer highly effective filters that can remove a vast range of threats.
If you’re on well water, or if your city water is suspect, both gravity-fed water filters can make a significant improvement in the quality and safety of your family’s water. They’re also an excellent option for car camping, RV travel, traveling with a tiny home, or living fully off the grid with a rainwater catchment system.
They’re more expensive than many other water filter options, but they’re easier to use, more robust, and can filter a vast amount of water before you need to switch out filters.
If you’re interested in learning about other water filters on the market, check out our piece on the Best Water Filters For Off Grid Living here.
If you’re living off the grid or are worried about your city water quality, you’d be well served by either a Berkey water filter or an Alexapure Pro.
Whichever filter you decide to go with, you can rest easy knowing that they’re effective, affordable, and long-lasting ways to protect your family from unsafe drinking water.
Want to learn more about gravity water filters and how they work? Click on the link to learn more. They are a simple and effective way to filter water living off the grid.